Jack Tar 207's photo of Adriana Dominique at the East End railroad bridge.

Jack Tar 207 is a business, a blog, and a conversation starter. It’s not until you start perusing the beautifully sharp and well composed photos that you think to yourself, Why isn’t there more of this?

The brainchild of local designer and creative director LK Weiss, Jack Tar is both a fashion and product photography business (it also offers branding and graphic-design services) and a frequently updated blog that is described by its founders as “a growing resource of images that challenge the traditional expectation of beauty.” Featuring local models who exude a kind of serene confidence, Jack Tar celebrates looks that are delightfully dapper, fiercely femme, and everything in between.

We caught up with Weiss via email; here, she muses on the chemistry of her crew, the concept of authentic beauty, and Portland’s stellar queer style. Check out jacktar207.com to see for yourself.

Jack Tar 207 has developed into a successful blog and business in a short amount of time. Can you describe the evolution of Jack Tar from the original concept to what it is today? Did you expect things to take off as they have?
Jack Tar 207 started out as more of a hobby blog in the fall of 2012, at which time I brought on Tennyson (formerly Tee Tee) Tappan as lead photographer and Mahlia Carey as stylist. I had just joined Pinterest, and between that and all the fashion/style blogs I was already following, I saw an abundance of tall, thin, flawless white people wearing perfectly pressed and fitted outfits. It was the opposite of genuine. I wanted to start pumping new blood into the veins of style and fashion blogging by adding real people wearing what they would wear in their natural habitat; I felt compelled to put genuine imagery out there. I think once people caught on to what we were doing and were able to connect to the photographs they were seeing and the people we were portraying, it kind of took off. There’s an honesty to the work we do that can’t be found in studio or runway photography; people see themselves reflected in Jack Tar models, regardless of how similar or dissimilar their bodies are compared to those of the models who typically represent beauty and fashion. Jack Tar has since become a business for hire, shooting products, artist/maker studios, and events. We’re now a seven-person crew, with the addition of two stylists, LuzMarina Serrano and David Timm, assistant Shana Natelson, and two new writers, Kirsten Griffith and Sarah Lynn Herklots. The quality of our shoots hinges entirely on the chemistry of this crew — it would not be possible without every bit of creativity each of us brings to the table.

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